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What does variation in survey design reveal about the nature of measurement errors in household consumption ?

  • Gibson, John
  • Beegle, Kathleen
  • De Weerdt, Joachim
  • Friedman, Jed

This paper uses data from eight different consumption questionnaires randomly assigned to 4,000 households in Tanzania to obtain evidence on the nature of measurement errors in estimates of household consumption. While there are no validation data, the design of one questionnaire and the resources put into its implementation make it likely to be substantially more accurate than the others. Comparing regressions using data from this benchmark design with results from the other questionnaires shows that errors have a negative correlation with the true value of consumption, creating a non-classical measurement error problem for which conventional statistical corrections may be ineffective.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6372.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6372
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  1. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
  2. John Bound & Alan B. Krueger, 1989. "The Extent of Measurement Error In Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make A Right?," NBER Working Papers 2885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim, 2010. "Non-Classical Measurement Error in Long-Term Retrospective Recall Surveys," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(5), pages 687-695, October.
  4. Shahidur R. Khandker, 2005. "Microfinance and Poverty: Evidence Using Panel Data from Bangladesh," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 263-286.
  5. Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1995. "Measurement Error and Earnings Dynamics: Some Estimates from the PSID Validation Study," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 305-14, July.
  6. Andrew Chesher & Christian Schluter, 2001. "Welfare measurement and measurement error," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Beegle, Kathleen & De Weerdt, Joachim & Friedman, Jed & Gibson, John, 2012. "Methods of household consumption measurement through surveys: Experimental results from Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 3-18.
  8. Alderman, Harold & Hoogeveen, Hans & Rossi, Mariacristina, 2005. "Reducing child malnutrition in Tanzania - combined effects of income growth and program interventions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3567, The World Bank.
  9. Gibson, John, 2002. " Why Does the Engel Method Work? Food Demand, Economies of Size and Household Survey Methods," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(4), pages 341-59, September.
  10. John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim, 2007. "Measurement Error in Recall Surveys and the Relationship between Household Size and Food Demand," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 473-489.
  11. Naeem Ahmed & Matthew Brzozowski & Thomas Crossley, 2006. "Measurement errors in recall food consumption data," IFS Working Papers W06/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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